UN, Syria Agree to Expand Monitor Mission

Deal Authorizes Hundreds of Observers

by Jason Ditz, April 19, 2012

The United Nations and Syria have signed an agreement today to dramatically increase the size of the observer mission for the ongoing ceasefire. The deal authorizes hundreds of additional monitors to oversee the situation on the ground.

At present there are six monitors in Syria, though the deal that was in place allowed for as many as 30, and more were supposed to be deployed by the end of the week. There continues to be much disagreement over exactly what authority the monitors will have.

In particular, Western officials have been pushing for the deployment of European planes and helicopters into Syria, primarily to ferry the observers around but also providing aerial surveillance in some cases.

With US and French officials hinting at a military invasion of Syria even under the current state of the ceasefire, putting Western vehicles on the ground is almost certain to be rejected by the UN.

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